I'm always looking at ways to "shake things up". Especially when it comes to traditional Greek recipes. I love adding my own spin on things and this is exactly what I have done with these festive Christmas cookies. I've taken the kourabiethes recipe I made last year and changed them a little by shaping them as Christmas trees. I quite like the effect actually, and the icing sugar seems to add a "snow" feeling to the biscuits. As I've explained in previous posts Christmas and holiday celebrations are hot here in Australia. There is no snow to be seen! LOL! So we have to 'make do" with illusions such as these shortbread Christmas trees and fake snow in department stores! No wonder they call it the "silly season"!
I pretty much stuck to the same recipe except this time I added some pistachios to the mix. Traditionally, kourambiedes are made with almonds. I got that idea from my blog friend and colleague, Ivy from Kopiaste who made a recipe for kourabiethes using pistachios. Thanks Ivy! These were delicious! I imagine any other nut would work just as well. Hazelnuts, could be a real winner too...even pecans. Or how about macadamias? (Now I've gone all "nutty"!). The only real problem I encountered was the strong heat and humidity and the effect it had on the butter. It's best to work with the butter at room temperature not melted like mine initially did. Thank heavens for air conditioning. It eventually all came together and the Greek shortbread were fantastic. In the next few days, I'm going to post another twist to a traditional Greek biscuit all in the name of Christmas spirit and fun! So tell me. How much baking do you do at Christmas? Or do you prefer not to bake during this hectic time? I'd love to hear your thoughts.